Make your own with card stock paper. Your local scrap book center will have die-cut machines available for your use. Cut monkeys, elephants, lions and other favorite animals. Use a bright gel pen to write your message and party information. Print this on each invitation:
"We're going WILD for _____'s Birthday"
Variation: For an extra special invitation hand deliver a box of animal crackers with the note attached.
Tip: Teacher stores will often have die cuts intended for bulletin board or other purpose. These make great note cards!
Create a jungle with green streamers draped around the room and hanging from the ceiling. Place stuffed animals where they can be seen and played with by the children. When entertaining little ones, be alert to choking hazards. Balloons should be placed out of reach. Cover your table and set with matching safari plates, cups etc. A fun and festive centerpiece can be fashioned by tying a bouquetbouquet of animal print balloonsto a stuffed monkey, elephant or giraffe or other appropriate animal. or cluster a couple of coconuts, bananas, a safari hat (pith helmet) and binoculars in the middle of the table.
Advanced Scene Setting: Add potted palm plants around the party area and hang mosquito netting from the ceiling above the table.Make a cardboard jungle using wrapping paper tubes to form palm tree trunks and green construction paper to make large palm leaves. (You can also purchase large paper tubes from a hardware store.) Use a brown marker to draw ridges on the trunks. Enlist a talented teen for this job!
Mom and Dad can wear a pith helmet to welcome guests. Any of the suggestions below will set the stage for a fun party. Keep the age of the children in mind when choosing.
Transform your guests into little lions, zebras, or other wild animals. Fashion animal ears with plastic headbands, hot glue gun and felt. This can be made even easier with strips of construction paper, a stapler and markers. Enlist a teenager, or friend to paint whiskers and a nose on each child, using kid-safe face paint. Provide an easy no-sew costume for each guest upon arrival. Fashion the costumes using a square of animal print fabric. Simply cut a hole in the center big enough to fit around a child's head. Allow the fabric piece to drape over the shoulders. If you want larger costumes, cut a large rectangle and the center hole. Then use a strip of fabric to tie around the child's waist.
"Feed the Monkey" Bean Bag Toss
Paint a monkey face on a box using one large brown circle for the head and two smaller circles for the ears. Use a utility knife (ADULTS ONLY), to cut a large opening where the mouth would be and add the eyes and nose with black paint. Now make or purchase 3-4 yellow beanbags (bananas). Socks filled with dried beans and secured with rubber bands will work well. To play, mark an "X" the floor where the player will stand. Place the "monkey box" a reasonable distance form the "X" and the children will take turns feeding the hungry monkey his bananas!
Pin the Tail on the Lion
Play this game just as you would "Pin The Tail on the Donkey". Make a simple lion and tails from poster board.Right before the party add double stick tape and the children's names to the tails.Will also work with a Giraffe, Tiger or any Jungle animal with a tail, of course.
Go On a Safari
Hide several small jungle animal toys or beanie toys around the party area house, yard, garage etc. If you like to tell stories, start with a story about an adventure.Then send the kids off to find their wild animals.They'll keep what they find and add the items to a goodie bag.
Packing for your Safari
This is a game for older kids. Sit the children in a circle. The first player says:
"I'm going on a safari, and I'm going to pack _______" (Examples are: "mosquito repellent," "binoculars," "camera")
Then, the next player says:
"I'm going on a safari and I'm gong to pack _______" This player should repeat the first player's item, and then add another.
Play continues around the circle. Any player that forgets and item is out of the game.
Can you roar like a lion, howl like a monkey, laugh like hyena? This game is as silly as it gets! At the party, have the children take turns making their best animal noises while standing in front of the group. The other children have to guess the animals being mimicked.
If desired, you can give a small prize to the first child to guess each animal correctly. Or, if the children are older, set up a panel of judges to award prizes in the following categories:
Continue creating categories until everyone wins and has a good laugh in the process!
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